Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Alstom’s Belfort : “the political will to save a strong symbol of French industry” – The World

An employee of Alstom near a TGV Meroux  Territory of Belfort), September 27, 2016.

Christopher : How is it possible to make these direct purchases with a side a of the public procurement code rigid (tender) and the other in Europe, which does not allow for domestic preference ?

Philippe Jacqué : In the framework of a call for tenders last, the SNCF, the State and Alstom have signed a framework agreement for purchase of trainsets TGV, which included purchases of farms and options. The State decides to raise a purchase option. Thus, it complies with the european competition law and the procurement code.

Pierrette : Est-what the closure of Belfort will not arise again once all these trains built ?

The rate of production of a TGV is about one per month at Alstom. At the beginning of the month, the order book is allowed to give work to the factories of Belfort (for the motor) and La Rochelle (for cars) up to 2018. Thanks to new orders, Alstom may consider extending the production until 2020-2021. At this date, it is expected that these factories start producing the TGV (high speed train 5e generation, ” says TGV of the future. The issue of the closure of the site will be in seven or eight years, but this leaves enough time for Alstom to find other commands.

JuLU : Is that there is not a disproportion between the number of jobs in Belfort and the money spent to buy a train ?

We can only rejoice for the employees of Alstom Belfort. That said, the question arises, all the more that the 400 jobs are under threat in Belfort, had to be relocated to Reichshoffen (Bas-Rhin). Initially, it was not to be a social. It is a political will to save a strong symbol of French industry. François Hollande has been captured while the presidential campaign will open.

Read also : Alstom : a rescue baroque and expensive

Peter : Who will pay for the trains ? I thought that France was in deficit…

In theory, the State is supposed to buy these trains. However, he was able in the past to pay for other. For example, for intercités trains, it is now a tax on the turnover of the SNCF, which finance the operating deficit of these trains. Tomorrow, as the equipped lines will be Bordeaux-Marseille and Montpellier-Perpignan, it may be that the State will be tempted to put the contributions of the regions served. This is a question that will be raised very soon.

Cat : was it not more appropriate to use these public funds to finance a conversion of the factory in Belfort (construction of metro trains, etc) ?

today, Alstom has four sites for the assembly of trains in France, including one specialising in the metros in Valenciennes (North). He did not need a second site for this type of production. In addition, the site of Belfort is relatively small and would not be suitable for the production of trains of passengers (metro, RER, trains, etc.).

Puppet : Why does not anticipate-does not relocation ? What analysis do you make of the behaviour of Alstom ?

for many years, Alstom and its competitors alert the French authorities on the reductions of expenses for their plants. Despite these alerts, the government has not accelerated the calls for tenders for new hardware. We can estimate that Alstom is blackmailing the job, but without an order from France, it will be difficult to preserve its industrial tool. For the record, today, all French sites of Alstom occur at 40 % for export.

also Read : Alstom Belfort : the story of thirty days which have shaken the manufacturer of TGV

Olivier Rafin : To save Alstom, the SNCF station in the red. Where is the logic ?

The SNCF is already in the red. It is a contribution to an important but reasonable : about € 700 million announced control, she will have to spend some $ 200 million for the six TGV trains for which it was already in negotiation. The State has accelerated the negotiations between Alstom and the SNCF asking everyone to make an effort on the final price of the transaction. In this case, the State has, in a sense, preserved the SNCF in taking charge of the bulk of the purchase of high-speed trains.

TrainJuju : when an Airbus of the rail to fight against the Chinese, who have combined their two rail manufacturers and engineering ?

The idea of closer Alstom and Siemens, or Bombardier, is in the air for many years. The concern, this would be the social cost of such an alliance. Today, Europe is in a overcapacity of production. Thus, if Alstom and Siemens would merge, this would lead to more closures of production sites. And there is a danger ten ” Alstom Belfort “. On the other hand, you’re right, it will be necessary that the european players are a parade to the emergence not only of CRRC, the giant chinese railway, but also of the japanese Hitachi, who are trying to increase the market share in Europe, and therefore weaken the local actors.

On Alstom's site in Belfort, on the 12th of  September.

Toto : Isn’t this a lost battle in advance with a closing postponed whatever happens in the future ?

The government has been working not only to find a way of short-term at the site, but also a long-term strategy : Alstom will diversify its activity on-site by increasing the share of the maintenance of railway equipment (he wants to double the size, and from 80 to 150 people). It will also introduce a new activity for the assembly of electric vehicles (including bus).

Fly : The State can’t rather revive the rail transport, rail ?

It was the ambition of the Grenelle environment forum in early 2010. However, the share of rail or rail freight has not been falling for fifteen years. The creation of an ecotax had even made famous the famous red Caps who ended up having the skin of this tool of financing of the railway. All the difficulty in this folder, it is the coherence of the State and its political mobility. If you subsidize or help largely to the heavy truck industry (and its many jobs), you go against the grain, somehow, in the rail sector.

Read also : Belfort, the saga of the “Alsthommes”

Francois : Alstom should he not also build the high-speed TGV on the LGV Paris-Tours-Bordeaux ? Where is this project ? Is it still standing ?

Currently, Alstom’s product in Belfort and La Rochelle the 40 trains of which you speak. This production stops by 2018-2019.

tt : The government he thought of the nationalization instead of buying all these TGV ?

In 2004, Nicolas Sarkozy, had been nationalized in Alstom on the brink of bankruptcy. Since then, Alstom, who sold his energy in 2014, is much better. Alstom Transport made a profit and won many contracts in the world. When he wins a call for tenders in the United States or in India, he is obliged to produce the bulk of the equipment ordered on-site. Hence the difficulty to load his twelve sites in France. Today, nationalize not change anything in the order book, Belfort, La Rochelle or the other. This would be for the State to directly manage the restructuring of the group. Only new orders could keep up the activity.

also Read : After Belfort, the anxiety goes up in the other French sites of Alstom


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